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Vehicles for Hunting

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AEV’s Prospector XL Tray Bed — Hunting Vehicle and Daily Driver All in One

Photos by Iain Harrison

Have you ever been to a restaurant where the menu is the culinary version of War and Peace? When your options become too abundant, it’s easy to suffer from paralysis by analysis. So what exactly does one need in a vehicle that’ll serve as both your daily driver as well as withstand the rigors of an off-road hunting trip? Let’s face it, most of us aren’t trust-fund babies, so we need a multipurpose vehicle. After all, we just spent X amount of dollars on a rifle, optic, clothing, license, tags … you get the picture. If we want to avoid buying another vehicle used solely for hunting (and a subsequent divorce) then let’s deconstruct what’s really important.

Stop for a second and imagine you’re back in the 1950s on a hunting trip. You don’t have ATVs, UTVs, side-by-sides and all these vehicles that have become the new normal of off-road transportation, but did that ruin one’s ability to have a successful outing? Nope. You just needed something that’d haul people, supplies, and game; work in a variety of settings; and be robust enough to take a beating. So fast-forward to present day. While a vintage Chevy Thriftmaster may no longer be the best option, a vehicle that checks off the aforementioned prerequisites with some modern conveniences is definitely worth a look.

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If you haven’t heard of American Expeditions Vehicles, or AEV for short, it was born out of owner Dave Harriton’s firsthand experience in learning what off-road vehicles really needed to endure the brutal conditions of Montana. His need to improve upon his own personal YJ Jeep with a stretched wheelbase and add other custom touches didn’t go unnoticed, and he soon found himself taking orders when people caught on to his eye for engineering. From there the company snowballed into not only aftermarket parts, but also offers turnkey custom vehicles for sale.

The issue with most custom vehicles (and even firearms) is that you’re combining a bunch of parts from different companies who are operating in a vacuum about their product’s compatibility with other aftermarket offerings. People often discover when they’re thousands of dollars into a build that many parts just don’t play well together. That creates not only lots of experimentation and additional costs, but you end up sacrificing reliability and comfort. In order to avoid the “truckenstein” situation, AEV manufactures its parts to work together and virtually all are made right here in the U.S. to ensure quality control and unified function.


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